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July 15, 2011

Don’t Let Your Diet Take a Vacation

The Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.

You're off to the shore, the mountains, the lake, or maybe you're taking much-needed "staycation" at home for a break.  No matter where you choose to relax, you won't want to weigh more than you did before your vacation.

Here are four tips that will help prevent summer weight gain.

Eat breakfast.  Start the day on the right foot with a meal that includes protein, such as eggs, Hood Cottage Cheese and Hood Milk .  Eating the morning meal supplies the willpower to avoid temptation all day long by keeping you fuller for longer.  

To insure you don't miss breakfast, take it with you. Pack hard cooked eggs, peanut butter, fruit, and whole wheat bagels for a road trip or airplane meal. Pair with a glass of milk.

When picking a hotel room, choose one with a fridge. It costs more, but you can save money - and calories - at breakfast and at other meals by eating in your room.

Don't fly or drive hungry.  Pack healthy snacks, such as dried fruit, nuts, low-fat granola bars and half a sandwich to prevent pulling off the road in search of doughnuts or double cheeseburger or caving in to airport food court fare.

Plan road trips to include restaurants with healthier options so that you can order lower-calorie fare.  Food marts and gas stations offer nutritious choices such as yogurt, hard cooked eggs, low fat cheese and whole grain crackers, too.

Avoid sipping your calories.  Take water or other low-calorie drinks with you.  Skip high-calorie coffee drinks with extra flavor shots and whipped cream in favor of iced coffee with low-fat milk or unflavored iced tea.

Alternate alcoholic beverages with low-calorie drinks, such as seltzer water and diet soda to cut down on alcohol and calories. 

Indulge wisely.  When you're in a different country or a different part of the USA, you may feel obliged to indulge in the regional specialties. Instead, pick one thing to splurge on every day - a food you cannot live without. Take a few bites, as they are almost always the most pleasurable. Balance high-calorie treats by filling up lower-calorie fare, such as fruits and vegetables, at meals.


Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D., is a writer, nutrition consultant, and mother of three. She is the author of several books, including MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better and Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy . Ward is also a contributing writer for Muscle & Fitness Hers and Men's Fitness magazines.

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